Lost to the Desert Warrior
A “sheik” style romance, and it’s a contemporary? I haven’t encountered that a lot, and the premise of this story certainly made me intrigued. Plus, I love a good arranged marriage to a sexy millionaire story. Lost to the Desert Warrior provided a short bout of steamy entertainment. It won’t go on my list of favorite books of all time, but I enjoyed Layla and Raz’s story from beginning to end.
Layla is the princess of Tazkhan. Her father has just died and now her fate is about to change. There are plans to marry her off to the man that is the successor to her father’s throne. However, he is a cruel man and Layla fears being trapped into a marriage of submission and possibly abuse. The successor also plans to send Layla’s younger sister to America. To try and protect herself and her sister, Layla decides to make a drastic move. She and her sister steal a horse and ride off into the desert to find the Sheik that has been her family’s biggest enemy. She hopes that by marrying the sheik she can avoid the unwanted marriage and protect her sister.
Sheikh Raz Al Zahki is actually the rightful heir to the Tazkhan throne but he was displaced by Layla’s father. Although he despises Layla because of her connection with his enemy, her father, he agrees to a political marriage arrangement with her. He is reluctant to enter this marriage because he is still grieving for his dead wife. He hopes that his marriage to Layla will get him back into the palace where he belongs.
Both leads are fairly likeable characters. Layla is very practical and no-nonsense. In the beginning of the book, Morgan’s characterization of her was a bit too heavy handed. It was emphasized too many times how Layla wasn’t romantic and didn’t care about ever falling in love and all she cared about were facts. I wanted to say “Okay, we get it already.” Luckily, this evened out as the story continued. Raz was my favorite part of the book and made for an enjoyably tortured hero. However, I do think that, given his reluctance to marry Layla and his difficult marriage, he should have been slower in developing his affection for her. He almost instantly accepts Layla as a part of his life and is very caring toward her.
Although I can’t pick out anything glaringly obvious that I didn’t like about the book, I will say that it didn’t draw me in. There was really nothing incredibly original about the story. What little tension there was between Layla and Raz dissipated too quickly. I wanted some more back and forth over whether they could really be together and be in love, but I didn’t feel that.
The setting felt odd for me and occasionally drew me out of the story. It was a contemporary story that is set somewhere in a desert, that I understood. However, it was bizarre for me how Layla and Raz went from living in Bedouin tents in the desert to staying at a mansion with helicopters. I just didn’t understand how Raz was so wealthy from horse breeding and has mansions all over the world, but he takes his new bride to a sweltering tent in the desert. I was also a little confused when they went to a fundraising gala and Layla met Avery, who is also married to a prince. Through her speech, it was obvious that Avery was possibly an American. It threw me a lot because it was never really explained who Avery was or why this American woman ended up married to a prince in the desert. I had to assume this was from one of Morgan’s earlier works and just move on.
This book obviously sets up the premise for the next book, which will be between Layla’s chatty sister, Yasmin, and Raz’s stoic helper, Salim. Sadly, what was presented wasn’t enough to make me very interested in reading the next book and I will most likely skip it.
All in all, if you happen to see Lost to the Desert Warrior at your local store and are looking for something short and easy enough to read, by all means, going ahead and grab it. However, it’s not impressive enough that I would recommend going out of your way to find it.